Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough, Rotherham United and Barnsley lead the line - The YP''s 2022-23 Team of the Season
The Yorkshire Post Team of the Season has been announced, with six clubs represented and no less than FIVE clubs having two representatives apiece.
The selections are based on performances throughout the 2022-23 season, a strong year which has seen one team automatically promoted in Sheffield United, four clubs reach the play-offs in Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Bradford City and Middlesbrough – with just the Owld going up – with another two staving off the drop in determined fashion in Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United, all providing wholesome stories.
The big downside was seeing Leeds United meekly surrender their top-flight status, Sam Allardyce given far too little time to pull off what would have been a miraculous escape.
Here is the line-up, scroll through or watch the video above and see whether you agree. If you do, if you don’t, post your own thoughts and selections in the comments section below.
Goalkeeper – Viktor Johansson (Rotherham United): The super Swede has excelled from day one for the Millers and marked himself out to be one of the top operators in his position in the Championship. A big player in every way.
Defence – Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday): A wonderfully consistent and versatile performer across the backline and his value was simply inestimable in a promotion-clinching campaign. A big part of the fixtures and fittings at Hillsborough and a rock-solid 7/10 performer most weeks.
Anel Ahmedhodzic (Sheffield United): Has taken to the Championship like a duck to water and despite just one season at this level, he already is ready for the top-flight. Classy on the ball with natural defensive qualities as well.
Mads Andersen (Barnsley): Has taken League One in his immaculate stride and has performed with consummate distinction. Has led by example all season.
Midfield – Luca Connell (Barnsley): A top-notch performer who has revived his career at Barnsley and proved to be one of the shrewdest acquisitions of the season across all Yorkshire clubs. Prowess on the ball, a threat from set-plays and a quality performer all-round.
Hayden Hackney (Middlesbrough): His potential was left untapped under Chris Wilder, but the Redcar lad has burst onto the scene under Michael Carrick in a big way and quickly proved himself to be among the best young midfielders across the EFL. Breakthrough season.
Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday): Certainly no stranger to this line-up. A player who everybody knows is too good for League One, but needs help from others. When Wednesday hit the right notes, it was Bannan who was conducting the orchestra, ultimately leading to the biggest prize of all in promotion, albeit via the play-offs.
Forwards – Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United): It remains to be seen if he sticks around with the Millers after another barnstorming season when he was the club's go-to-man in the final third en route to becoming an established Championship player. Pacy, direct and with an end product.
Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United): One of the top talents in EFL football and his contribution in a stellar 2022-23 was just a delight to behold. Has all the qualities in his tool bag to step up into the Premier League. Quick, strong, tricky, skilful, creative, bewitching and with a goal or two in his locker. Worthy of the Premier League stage.
Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough): His renaissance from forgotten man on Teesside to the Championship's top gun in 22-23 - operating in a number ten role as opposed to a traditional centre forward position - is one of the most remarkable individual stories of the second-tier season. A season of a lifetime for Akpom.
Andy Cook (Bradford City): City's leader of the pack and simply impossible to ignore by sheer weight of goals. Talisman can be an overused term, but not in the case of Cook, who has been outstanding. The Bantams would not have got near the play-offs without him, for sure.
Manager/head coach – Paul Heckingbottom (Sheffield United): Has revived his managerial career at Bramall Lane, when not many expected him to have such a positive impact after succeeding Slaviša Jokanović in November 2021. Limited in his ability to add new faces throughout, guiding the Blades to automatic promotion and back to the Premier League from a fiercely competitive Championship is a stunning achievement.
Honourable mentions to: Devante Cole, Liam Kitching, Michal Helik, Cameron Humphreys, Lee Peltier, Oli Rathbone, Alfie Jones, Regan Slater, Tyler Adams, Jonny Howson, Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Giles, Harry Lewis, Scott Banks, John Egan, Oli Norwood, Oli McBurnie, James McAtee.